Upon arriving in Baltimore for week 1 of my coaching placement, I met my first coaching group and we drove out towards Chesapeake, VA which isn’t far from the infamous Virginia beach. It took us just over 4 hours to get there: what a way to get my first experience of driving in America!

We arrived at the camp at 6pm on the Sunday evening and met with our new host families and the camp coordinator to organise the upcoming week.

Week 1

As I have previously worked with young children, I chose to coach the ‘first kicks’ who are aged between 2-5. I also stayed each day until 4pm helping out with the older children in the afternoons, which was great fun.

As this was my first experience coaching children, it was quite nerve wracking. After a couple of sessions I settled straight in though. I had a huge amount of fun teaching the little ones with lots of different football games!

As a coach for challenger, I worked Monday – Friday and had weekends off, however you often spend a lot of the weekend travelling to the next coaching destination.

We were lucky enough to travel to a naval base near the local town and experienced firing water out of the fire engines. I also had the opportunity to watch fighter jets land up close which was amazing! We spent our Saturday at the local water park which was a great way to cool off from a week of 35 degree heat.

Week 2

I stayed with the same coaching group and after a 6 hour drive; we arrived in a small town called Berryville, not too far from Washington DC.

Again I opted to coach the youngest age group, which was tough at times but also great fun! As well as training the 2-5 year olds, I helped organise and run a ‘World Cup’ style mini tournament at the end of each training session.

Luckily this week I finished coaching at 12pm so I had plenty of time to explore the local area. My host family were amazing again and kept us busy all week, taking us to nearby restaurants and into DC for a quick tour. At the end of the week, we had a big coach’s bbq for all host families and coaches and also went tubing down a river for the afternoon.

Week 3

We had a vacation week to celebrate Independence Day so a group of us chose to head down to Ocean City. We spent most of the week on the beach or around the pool making the most of our time off.

We also went to the local baseball game in Baltimore before we left which was a great experience. There were some fantastic fireworks on the beach to celebrate 4th July which were temporarily delayed due to Hurricane Arthur, but even that couldn’t spoil the fun.

Week 4

At the beginning of week 4 we arrived back in Baltimore and were assigned our new coaching groups. My next location was central Washington DC. We were to stay at the camp for 2 weeks which left ample time for some great sightseeing.

Once again I took the youngest groups and we had some fun morning sessions. In the second week I had 21 2-5 year olds for my first hour which was a challenge to say the least! During my afternoons off I saw the sights of DC, which were just as amazing as expected.

I was definitely sad to leave and I had an absolutely fantastic trip out to the US. I feel like I am returning to UCFB with some valuable experience under my belt.


Written by Chloe Simpson – Football Business & Marketing student at UCFB